Going into every marathon training plan, there can be a wide range of feelings.
All of these can come from past experiences you’ve had, whether in training or in races. They can also be from what your actual training plan looks like and if it is different or more difficult compared to ones that you done in the past.
In many ways, this is all part of the experience.
Everyone feels most of these emotions at some point no matter what their experience level.
And you can even feel all of them in one training cycle (or in one week or workout)!
As I began this training plan for the 2023 Copenhagen Marathon, the feeling that was strongest for me was excitement.
Ahead of me lay 14 weeks of training.
And at the end of those 14 weeks of training – an opportunity to run again in Copenhagen where I have so many great memories from last year.
And also another opportunity to get a new personal best, which I missed by 2 seconds last year.
With my only race during the training plan coming up this Saturday (March 25), now feels like a good time to give an update on how my training is going so far.
As with any marathon training plan, there are a few different types of runs – mine has easy runs, interval workouts, tempo runs and then, of course, the weekly long run.
For the easy runs, I have really focused on making sure they are as easy as possible. This allows for recovery after harder workouts, but still gets the blood flowing.
By actually keeping the easy runs easy, I have felt better prepared for the intervals and tempo runs that I usually have scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday.
As with many people, I love the challenge that is presented by the intervals and tempo runs. If you have done either of these types of workouts before, you will probably agree with me that nothing beats the feeling of completing the intervals.
So far, I have completed all of these workouts at the planned paces and even a little faster in some cases.
Then comes the weekly long run.
My preferred long run day is Sunday. Each of these runs, which so far have ranged from 11-16 miles (18-26km), give me a good chance to test out hydration and fueling. These long runs also allow me to get used to my planned marathon pace, as there are 3 or 4 tempo blocks that I run at marathon pace or faster in each of these runs.
Strength and Conditioning
Even though running is a big part of the training plan, it’s not the only thing to consider.
Everyone always says how important strength and conditioning is to the success of any training plan.
During my last marathon training plan, I did some strength workouts, but didn’t really stretch at all.
As I mentioned in a previous post (Goals Not Resolutions), one of my goals for this year was to increase my mobility by doing regular stretching.
So, at the beginning of the year, I started to do some stretching and yoga for runners, as suggested by my friend (IG – @runafter40).
When I started doing these stretching routines, I honestly wasn’t sure how long I would stick with them. But they have quickly become a part of my daily routine. I usually do them at lunch time or later in the evening as a way to loosen up my muscles.
Especially if I’ve been sitting a lot during the day, I’ve found these really helpful.
Maybe most importantly though, I have noticed that my muscles (especially my legs) have not been sore before my runs and very rarely during my runs, which has not been the case during my last two marathon training plans.
So, @runafter40 – thanks for the suggestion!
Also, I have added in about 2-3 days a week of HIIT type workouts (like Freeletics and some other basic workouts). Sometimes, I do more; sometimes, I do less, but this has also been a nice addition to my routine.
Even though I didn’t mention this in my previous post, another goal of mine for this year was to consistently eat better.
After losing 35-40 pounds in 2016, I had done a relatively good job to maintain a healthy weight for the next several years.
But over the last couple of years, I got back into some old (bad) eating habits and I noticed that over this time I was slowly gaining weight.
So, between my running, strength and conditioning, and eating healthier, I have lost about 10 pound this year.
Not only does this help my training from a physical standpoint, but it also helps give me more confidence in my running.
Together, all of these things have me feeling very good as I am nearing the halfway point of my Copenhagen Marathon training.
This weekend, I will be running the Garden Spot Village Half Marathon, which will give me a great idea of how well my training is actually going.
And after this race, I will have 7 weeks left to keep everything going strong and do my best to arrive in Denmark firing on all cylinders!
7 thoughts on “Next Up: Copenhagen Marathon (Again)”
Great post! I wish my training included more strength, stretching, and nutrition work. They are my least favorite parts of being a better runner. I am definitely stretching more than I did last year, but it’s still not enough.
Looking forward to sharing a few miles with you on Saturday at Garden Spot. Do have a goal in mind for that race?
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Definitely looking forward to this weekend! I’m hoping to average about 7:15-7:20 per mile
Good luck Pat. Sounds like you’re on the right track for achieving all that you want.
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Thanks Aunt Susan!
Another great post!
It’s always good reading your blog, and realizing that we all have the same things on our checklist (hydration, nutrition, when to plan long runs etc).
Looking forward to the next post and have fun this weekend!
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